Basketball season begins with new coach for the first time in 27 years, following last semester’s racial incident

(Photo Credit: Benedictine Athletics)

Jonathan Shields

Staff Writer

Jordan Townsend, new head coach

Benedictine basketball starts the season tonight for the first time without Keith Bunkenburg as head coach since 1995. Bunkenburg, the most successful coach in program history, is no longer the head coach after being let go for using a racial slur during an open gym last April.

While players were surprised by the Bunkenburg incident, some players are hopeful with the start of the season. “We were all shocked by what happened with Bunks,” said captain Nick Kosich. “We believe in [Jordan] Townsend and the group we have this year to accomplish our goals.”

The Eagle’s new head coach is Jordan Townsend, a former player at the University of Dubuque and former assistant to Bunkenburg last season. “It is a very exciting time,” said Townsend. “We have a good mix of returns with four starters back and a talented group of underclassmen as well.”

The Eagles have a storied tradition, making the national championship in 2016 and winning 21 conference championships in their history. They were also ranked preseason number 5 in the NACC, something that they will use as fuel going forward.

“The goal is to win our conference and to play in March,” said Townsend. “We have a fun group to be around and I couldn’t be more excited for this year.”

Players agree that their energy is for the future of the program.

“We know the group we have and are focused on what we can do to win,” said Kosich. “We will definitely use it as fuel going forward but we are confident in the team we have to go far this year.” The Eagle’s first game is tonight at 7 p.m. at the Dan and Ada Rice Center against Wheaton College, which was ranked preseason number 24 in the country.